20.2.07

Opportunity presents but once.

The evening started out nicely enough. I saw Pan's Labyrinth at the run-down arthouse theatre. Imagine Ernest Hemingway writing Hellboy fanfic, and you'll be close. On the way home, I stopped at a Tim Horton's for a doughnut and a medium hot chocolate. The guy behind the counter looked right at me, and suggested that maybe... I'd like an extra-large? I politely declined the supersizing, and then he awkwardly explained that it was free -- he was just trying to help people warm up on a cold winter's night. Very nice of him, even if I did feel a bit like a schmuck for refusing his offer. Regardless, I sat down at a two-person table with an Arthur C. Clarke paperback for a bit of quality coffeeshopping.

That's when an elderly gentleman came up to the seat across from me. "I figured I should say hello, since we're both wearing the same colour shirt," he chortled. I was in my standard "Le Papillon" colour coding, while he was wearing a white shirt with a black tie under his black bomber jacket. It was a pleasantly quirky introduction, and I was still embarrassed at refusing the clerk's generousity, so I offered him the seat.

His name was Floyd, and he was 72 years old. After establishing those facts, he proceeded to float in and out of the conversation repeatedly, always circling back to mourn about how hard it was to find four eggs and a half pound of bacon at nine-thirty in the evening (Truthfully, I know his pain -- how I miss the 24-hour groceries of Grande Prairie). He briefly touched upon a tangent of the ladies in his apartment always pinching the bottoms of younger men, but we drifted back to bacon and eggs soon enough. At one point, he got out his cell phone, and asked a taxi company where he, Floyd, could find some bacon and eggs.

Up until this point, the Tim's was relatively quiet. Then, a dozen people entered en masse and sat down around me. They were from every demographic the Hat has to offer, but they were all dressed very professionally... and they were all very happy to be there. Then they turned to Floyd, and embraced him as one of their own -- although they introduced themselves first. One of the younger guys noticed me, and I shook his hand, asking what the reason was for the gathering.

"Oh, we just finished attending a presentation," he non-offered.

"Ah." A slight pause. "What... sort of presentation?"

"It's about an opportunity," he clarified.

"Ah." A slight pause. "What... sort of opportunity?"

"Oh, I'll let Floyd fill you in on the details," he smiled, assuming that I was Floyd's son, or possibly nurse. Floyd, however, was busy explaining his need for eggs and bacon to two of the smiling well-dressed ladies, so he wasn't paying attention to me. The ladies, on the other hand, were utterly engrossed in Floyd's story.

Then another gentleman came in, more informally dressed, but immediately hailed by the crowd as the "presenter" of the evening. My choices were now to receive either far too little information or far too much, so I decided to take advantage of my newfound invisibility, and slipped out the door.

I'm still not sure what was going on there. They were polite enough to be religious, but there was a lot of business-speak tossed around while I was there.

On the other hand, if Mary Kay's gotten into the soul-saving business, then it all makes perfect sense... but it still doesn't explain the bacon and eggs.

No comments:

About The Author

My photo

Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.